My bank card was stolen for 200,000 yuan from overseas overnight, even though I had it on me.

发表于 2023-09-30 09:25:14 来源:Return to basics and return to true nature

exercised during the period of hostilities and resulting in the saving of several European lives, the sentences of imprisonment passed upon Nteya and Ncanduku were remitted—mainly through the exertions of Eustace Milne—and the two sub-chiefs were allowed to rejoin the banished remnant of their tribe in its new location beyond the Kei—are not all these things matters of history?And how the sad relics of poor Tom Carhayes, his fate now under no sort of doubt, were gathered together beneath the great krantz in the Bashi valley on the morning after his insane and fatal leap, and conveyed to the settlement for burial, and how Eustace Milne, punctilious to a hair in his dealings with his barbarous neighbours, had paid over the stipulated ransom, even to the very last hoof, to the relatives of Hlangani, even though the contingency of that warrior’s demise was in no wise provided for in the original agreement—these things, too, are they not graven in the memories of all concerned?But if, to some, the war has brought ruin and death and bereavement, it has entailed vastly different results upon two other persons at any rate; and those, needless to say, the two with whom our story has been mainly concerned. For their good fortune has been great —greater, we fear, than they had any right to expect. They are flourishing exceedingly, and now, after years of union, it still seems to them that they have only just begun to enter upon that glowing vista of lifelong happiness, down which they had gazed so wistfully in the old, troubled, and well-nigh hopeless time. But after sorrow and heaviness cometh joy —sometimes. And it has come to these two, by a weird irony of Fate, has come through the agency of a wild and sanguinary drama—through the consistent ferocity of a vindictive barbarian and the logical outcome thereof—even Hlangani’s Revenge.| Chapter 1 | | Chapter 2 | | Chapter 3 | | Chapter 4 | | Chapter 5 | | Chapter 6 | | Chapter 7 | | Chapter 8 | | Chapter 9 | | Chapter 10 | | Chapter 11 | | Chapter 12 | | Chapter 13 | | Chapter 14 | | Chapter 15 | | Chapter 16 | | Chapter 17 | | Chapter 18 | | Chapter 19 | | Chapter 20 | | Chapter 21 | | Chapter 22 | | Chapter 23 | | Chapter 24 | | Chapter 25 | | Chapter 26 | | Chapter 27 | | Chapter 28 | | Chapter 29 | | Chapter 30 | | Chapter 31 | | Chapter 32 | | Chapter 33 | | Chapter 34 | | Chapter 35 | | Chapter 36 | | Chapter 37 | | Chapter 38 | | Chapter 39 | | Chapter 40 | | Chapter 41 | | Chapter 42 | | Chapter 43 | | Chapter 44 | | Chapter 45 | | Chapter 46 | | Chapter 47 | | Chapter 48 |

“Yes; but it’s ridiculous all the same. As if we weren’t relations, too.”“And will be closer relations soon—in fact, the closest. I suppose we must wait a year—but that rests with you.”“I don’t know. It’s an awfully long time,” and she sighed. Then rather hesitatingly: “Darling, you have never yet shown me the little silver box. We are alone now, and—”“And you are dying to see it. Well, Eanswyth, it is really a most remarkable coincidence—in fact, almost makes a man feel superstitious.”It was near sundown. A soft, golden light rested upon the great slopes, and the cooing of doves floated melodiously from the mealie lands in the valley. The mountain stream roared through its rocky bed at their feet, and among the crannies and ledges of a profusion of piled up boulders forming miniature cliffs around, a whole colony of bright eyed little dasjes (The “rock rabbit”—really a species of marmot) were disporting themselves, scampering in and out with a boldness which augured volumes in favour of the peaceable aspect of the two human intruders upon their sequestered haunt.“As you say, the time and place are indeed fitting,” said Eustace, sitting down upon a boulder and taking the box from its place of concealment. “Now, my darling, look at this. The assegai point is broken short off, driven with such force that it has remained embedded in the lid.”It was even as he said. Had the blade been driven with a powerful hammer it could not have been more firmly wedged within the metal.“That was the blow I received during the fight,” he went on. “The dent at the side of it was done when I stood up to the witch-doctress. It did not penetrate much that time; not that the blow wasn’t hard enough, for it nearly knocked me down, but the assegai was a rotten one and made of soft iron, and the point flattened out like a Snider bullet. Heavens! but that was an ordeal—something of a nerve-tickler!” he added, with a grave and meditative look in his eyes, as if he were mentally re-enacting that trying and critical scene.Eanswyth shuddered, but said nothing. She nestled rather closer to his side, as he continued:“Now to open the box—a thing I haven’t done since, partly from superstitious motives—partly that I intended we should do so together—if we ever were to be again together, that is.”He pressed the spring, but it was out of order. It needed the wrench of a strong knife blade before the lid flew open.“Look at that. The assegai point is so firmly wedged that it would take a hammer to drive it out—but I propose to leave it in—use it as a ‘charm’ next war perhaps. Now for the letter. It has gone through and through it—through the photograph too—and has just dinted the bottom of the box.”He spread out the letter. Those last tender, loving words, direct from her overflowing heart, were pierced and lacerated by the point of the murderous weapon.“If this is not an oracle, there never was such a thing,” he went on. “Look at this”—reading—“‘I dare not say “God bless you.” Coming from me it would entail a curse, rather than a blessing...’ The point has cut clean through the words ‘a curse’—Mfulini’s assegai has made short work of that malediction. Is not that the voice of an oracle?”She made no reply. She was watching the development of the investigation with rapt, eager attention.“Here again—‘Were anything to befall you—were you never to come back to me my heart would be broken...’ As the paper is folded it has cut through the word ‘heart’—And—by Jove, this is more than a coincidence! Here again, it has gone clean through the same word. Look at the end. ‘I want you in all your dangers and hardships to have, with you, these poor little lines, coming, as they are, warm from my hand and heart’... And now for the photograph. It is a sweetly lifelike representation of you, my dearest—”

My bank card was stolen for 200,000 yuan from overseas overnight, even though I had it on me.

A cry from her interrupted him. The portrait was a three parts length cabinet one, cut round to enable it to fit the box, which it did exactly. Right through the breast of the portrait, the assegai point had pierced.“O Eustace—this is an oracle, indeed!” she cried. “Do you not see? The spear point has gone right through my ‘heart’ again for the third time. My dearest love, thrice has my ‘heart’ stood between you and death— once in the portrait, twice in the letter. At the same time it has obliterated the word ‘curse.’ It is, indeed, an ‘oracle’ and—What if I had never given you that box at all?”“I should be a lot of dry bones scattered about the veldt in Bomvanaland at this moment,” he rejoined. “Now you see how your love has twice stood between me and death; has preserved my life for itself. My sweet guardian angel, does not that look as if some Fate had always intended us for each other from the very first!”Chapter Thirty Eight.At Swaanepoel’s Hoek.Several months had gone by.The war was nearly over now. Struck on all sides—decimated by the terrible breech-loading weapons of the whites—harried even in their wildest strongholds, their supplies running low, their crops destroyed, and winter upon them—the insurgent tribes recognised that they were irretrievably worsted. They had no heart for further fighting—their principal thought now was to make the best terms they could for themselves. So all along the frontier the disheartened savages were flocking in to lay down their arms and surrender. Those who belonged to independent tribes in the Transkei were treated as belligerents—and after being disarmed were located at such places as the Government thought fit. Those who were British subjects, and whose locations were within the colonial boundaries, such as the Gaikas, Hlambis, and a section of the Tembus, were treated as rebels and lodged in gaol until such time as it should please the authorities to put them on their trial forhigh treason, treason, felony, or sedition, according to their rank, responsibilities, or deeds. Still the unfortunate barbarians preferred to discount the chances of the future against present starvation—and continued to come in, in swarms. The gaols were soon crammed to overflowing; so, too, were the supplementary buildings hired for the emergency.Not all, however, had preferred imprisonment with plenty to liberty with starvation. There were still armed bands lurking in the forest recesses of the Amatola, and in the rugged and bushy fastnesses beyond the Kei. While most of the chiefs of the colonial tribes had either surrendered or been slain, the head and Paramount Chief of all was still at large. “Kreli must be captured or killed,” was the general cry. “Until this is done the war can never be considered at an end.” But the old chief had no intention of submitting to either process if he could possibly help it. He continued to make himself remarkably scarce.Another character who was very particularly wanted was Hlangani, and for this shrewd and daring leader the search was almost as keen as for Kreli himself. Common report had killed him over and over again, but somehow there was no satisfactory evidence of his identification. Then a wild rumour got about that he had been sent by his chief on a mission to invoke the aid of the Zulu King, who at that time was, rightly or wrongly, credited with keeping South Africa in general, and the colony of Natal in particular, in a state of uneasiness and alarm. But, wherever he was, like his chief, and the “bold gendarmes” of the burlesque song, he continued to be “when wanted never there.”All these reports and many more reached Eustace Milne, who had taken no active part in frontier affairs since we saw him last. He had even been sounded as to his willingness to undertake a post on behalf of the Government which should involve establishing diplomatic relations with the yet combatant bands, but this he had declined. He intended to do what he could for certain of the rebels later on, but meanwhile the time had not yet come.Moreover, he was too happy amid the peaceful idyllic life he was then leading to care to leave it even for a time in order to serve apotentially ungrateful country. And it was idyllic. There was quite enough to do on the place to keep even his energetic temperament active. The stock which had constituted the capital of their common partnership and had been sent to Swaanepoel’s Hoek at the outbreak of the war required considerable looking after, for, owing to the change of veldt, it did not thrive as well as could be wished. And then the place afforded plenty of sport; far more than Anta’s Kloof had done. Leopards, wild pigs, and bushbucks abounded in the bushy kloofs; indeed, there were rather too many of the former, looking at it from the farming point of view. The valley bottoms and the water courses were full of guinea-fowl and francolins, and high up on the mountain slopes, the vaal rykbok might be shot for the going after, to say nothing of a plentiful sprinkling of quail and now and then a bustard. Eustace was often constrained to admit to himself that he would hardly have believed it possible that life could hold such perfect and unalloyed happiness.He had, as we have said, plenty of wholesome and congenial work, with sport to his heart’s content, and enjoyed a complete immunity from care or worry. These things alone might make any man happy. But there was another factor in this instance. There was the sweet companionship of one whom he had loved passionately when the case was hopeless and she was beyond his reach, and whom he loved not less absorbingly now that all barriers were broken down between them, now that they would soon belong to each other until their life’s end. This was the influence that cast a radiant glow upon the doings and undertakings of everyday life, encircling everything with a halo of love, even as the very peace of Heaven.Not less upon Eanswyth did the same influences fall. The revulsion following upon that awful period of heart-break and despair had given her fresh life indeed. In her grand beauty, in the full glow of health and perfect happiness, no one would have recognised the white, stricken mourner of that time. She realised that there was nothing on earth left to desire. And then her conscience would faintly reproach her. Had she a right to revel in such perfect happiness in the midst of a world of sorrow and strife?But the said world seemed to keep very fairly outside that idyllic abode. Now and then they would drive or ride into Somerset East, or visit

My bank card was stolen for 200,000 yuan from overseas overnight, even though I had it on me.

or be visited by a neighbour—the latter not often. The bulk of the surrounding settlers were Boers, and beyond exchanging a few neighbourly civilities from time to time they saw but little of them. This, however, was not an unmixed evil.Bentley had been as good as his word. His wife was a capital housekeeper and had effectively taken all cares of that nature off Eanswyth’s hands. Both were thoroughly good and worthy people, of colonial birth, who, by steadiness and trustworthy intelligence, had worked their way up from a very lowly position. Unlike too many of their class, however, they were not consumed with a perennial anxiety to show forth their equality in the sight of Heaven with those whom they knew to be immeasurably their superiors in birth and culture, and to whom, moreover, they owed in no small degree their own well-being. So the relations existing between the two different factors which composed the household were of the most cordial nature.There had been some delay in settling up Tom Carhayes’ affairs—in fact, they were not settled yet. With a good sense and foresight, rather unexpected in one of his unthinking and impulsive temperament, poor Tom had made his will previous to embarking on the Gcaléka campaign. Everything he possessed was bequeathed to his wife—with no restriction upon her marrying again—and Eustace and a mutual friend were appointed executors.This generosity had inspired in Eanswyth considerable compunction, and was the only defective spoke in the wheel of her present great happiness. Sometimes she almost suspected that her husband had guessed at how matters really stood, and the idea cost her more than one remorseful pang. Yet, though she had failed in her allegiance, it was in her heart alone. She would have died sooner than have done so otherwise, she told herself.Twice had the executors applied for the necessary authority to administer the estate. But the Master of the Supreme Court professed himself not quite satisfied. The evidence as to the testator’s actual death struck him as inadequate—resting, as it did, upon the sole testimony of one of the executors, who could not even be positive that the man wasdead when last seen by him. He might be alive still, though held a prisoner. Against this view was urged the length of time which had elapsed, and the utter improbability that the Gcaléka bands, broken up and harried, as they were, from point to point, would hamper themselves with a prisoner, let alone a member of that race toward which they had every reason to entertain the most uncompromising and implacable rancour. The Supreme Court, however, was immovable. When hostilities were entirely at an end, they argued, evidence might be forthcoming on the part of natives who had actually witnessed the testator’s death. That fact incontestably established, letters of administration could at once be granted. Meanwhile the matter must be postponed a little longer.This delay affected those most concerned not one whit. There was not the slightest fear of Eanswyth’s interests suffering in the able hands which held their management. Only, the excessive caution manifested by the law’s representatives would at times communicate to Eustace Milne a vague uneasiness. What if his cousin should be alive after all? What if he had escaped under circumstances which would involve perforce his absence during a considerable period? He might have gained the sea shore, for instance, and been picked up by a passing ship bound to some distant country, whose captain would certainly decline to diverge many days out of his course to oblige one unknown castaway. Such things had happened. Still, the idea was absurd, he told himself, for, even if it was so, sufficient time had elapsed for the missing man, in these days of telegraphs and swift mail steamers, to make known his whereabouts, even if not to return in person. He had not seen dim actually killed in his conflict with Hlangani—indeed, the fact of that strange duel having been fought with kerries, only seemed to point to the fact that no killing was intended. That he was only stunned and disabled when dragged away out of sight Eustace could swear, but why should that implacable savage make such a point of having the absolute disposal of his enemy, if it were not to execute the most deadly ferocious vengeance upon him which lay in his power? That the wretched man had been fastened down to be devoured alive by black ants, even as the pretended wizard had been treated, Eustace entertained hardly any doubt—would have entertained none, but that the witch-doctress’s veiled hint had pointed to a fate, if possible, even more darkly horrible. No, after all this time, his unfortunate

My bank card was stolen for 200,000 yuan from overseas overnight, even though I had it on me.

cousin could not possibly be alive. The actual mode of his death might forever remain a mystery, but that he was dead was as certain as anything in this world can be. Any suspicion to the contrary he resolved to dismiss effectually from his mind.Eanswyth would often accompany her lover during his rides about the veldt looking after the stock. She would not go with him, however, when he was on sporting intent, she had tried it once or twice, but the bucks had a horrid knack of screaming in the most heart-rending fashion when sadly wounded and not killed outright, and Eustace’s assurance that this was due to the influence of fear and not of pain, entirely failed to reconcile her to it. (A fact. The smaller species of antelope here referred to, however badly wounded, will not utter a sound until seized upon by man or dog, when it screams as described. The same holds good of the English hare.) But when on more peaceful errand bent, she was never so happy as when riding with him among the grand and romantic scenery of their mountain home. She was a first-rate horsewoman and equally at home in the saddle when her steed was picking his way along some dizzy mountain path on the side of a grass slope as steep as the roof of a house with a series of perpendicular krantzes below, or when pursuing some stony and rugged bush track where the springy spekboem boughs threatened to sweep her from her seat every few yards.“We are partners now, you know, dearest,” she would say gaily, when he would sometimes urge the fatigue and occasionally even the risk of these long and toilsome rides. “While that law business still hangs fire the partnership can’t be dissolved, I suppose. Therefore I claim my right to do my share of the work.”It was winter now. The clear mountain air was keen and crisp, and although the nights were bitterly cold, the days were lovely. The sky was a deep, cloudless blue, and the sun poured his rays down into the valleys with a clear, genial warmth which just rendered perceptible the bracing exhilaration of the air. Thanks to the predominating spekboem and other evergreen bushes, the winter dress of Nature suffered but little diminution in verdure; and in grand contrast many a stately summit soared proudly aloft, capped with a white powdering of snow.

Those were days of elysium indeed, to those two, as they rode abroad among the fairest scenes of wild Nature; or, returning at eve, threaded the grassy bush-paths, while the crimson winged louris flashed from tree to tree, and the francolins and wild guinea-fowl, startled by the horses’ hoofs, would scuttle across the path, echoing their grating note of alarm. And then the sun, sinking behind a lofty ridge, would fling his parting rays upon the smooth burnished faces of the great red cliffs until they glowed like molten fire.Yes, those were indeed days to look back upon.a legion of dark demons roaring and howling under the promptings of superstition and ferocity; bellowing for blood—blood, blood, no matter whose. Weapons waved wildly in the air, and the deep-throated shout volleyed forth. “He must be killed!”The warriors were seated in an immense double semicircle. Gliding with her half-dancing step to the upper end of this, the witch-doctress began chanting an incantation in a high nasal key, an invocation to the great Inyoka (Serpent) who held the kraal and its inhabitants under its especial favour. As she commenced her round, the shouting of the warriors was hushed. All stood upright and silent. Different emotions held sway in each grim, dark countenance. The hearts of many were sinking with deadly fear, yet each strove to meet the eye of the terrible witch-doctress boldly and without quailing. They knew that that fatal round would prove of deadly import to one or more of them ere it was completed.“Ho—Inyoka ’nukulu!” (Great serpent) chanted the hag, with a significant shake of the body of the hideous reptile, which she held by the neck. “Find the wizard! Find the wizard!”“Find the wizard!” echoed those whom she had already passed by as she commenced her passage along the line.“Find the wizard!” they shouted, rapping the ground with their sticks. Those who had yet to undergo the ordeal kept stem silence.The chorus grew in volume as the number qualified to swell it increased. Not merely a lust for blood did that horrid shout represent—it embodied also a delirious relief on the part of those already safe.Suddenly Ngcenika made a half pause, raising her voice in the midst of her yelling chant. The serpent, its black coils writhing and twisting around her arm, opened its jaws and hissed horribly. Those still expectant held their breaths; those already relieved shouted and hammered with their sticks harder than ever. Those directly opposite the sorceress, at this ill-omened juncture, stood turned to stone.

“Find him, Inyoka!” snarled the hag.“Find him! Find him!” echoed the deep-toned chorus.But the pause was only momentary. Not yet was the victim singled out. Ngcenika resumed her way, only to repeat the process further along the line. And this she would do at intervals, sometimes coming to a dead stop in such significant and purpose-fraught fashion that the whole body of spectators stood ready to hurl themselves like lightning upon the unlucky one denounced. The hellish hag was enjoying the terror she inspired, and as strong men of tried bravery one after another quailed before her she gloated over their fears to such a pitch that her voice rose to a deafening shriek of demoniacal glee.The other end of the great human crescent was nearly reached and still no victim. And now those who had escaped so far began to feel their apprehensions return. It would be no unprecedented affair were a second trial to occur, or even a third. The sorceress might elect to make her fatal progress through the ranks again and again. There were barely fifty men left. Unless the victim or victims should be found among those, a second progress was inevitable.The bloodthirsty chorus rose into a deafening roar. The tension was fearful to witness. The hideous possession of the repulsive witch-doctress had communicated itself in some degree to the mass of excitable savages. Many were foaming at the mouth and apparently on the eve of convulsions. Not satisfied with the shouting, the infuriated mob beat time with their feet in addition to their sticks, as they joined in the hell-hag’s demoniacal incantations, and the perspiration streamed from every pore till the very air was heavy with a sickening and musky odour. It was a repellent and appalling scene, and even the white spectator, apart from the extreme peril of his own situation, felt his blood curdle within him at this vision of what was very like a diabolical power let loose. But there was worse to follow.Suddenly the sorceress was seen to halt. Her voice rose to a frightful yell, as with blazing eyes, and pouring forth a torrent of denunciation, she raised the great black serpent aloft in such wise that its writhing neck andhissing jaws made a dart straight at the face of a man in the rear rank of the line and near the end of the latter.“Thou hast found him, Inyoka! Thou hast found him! Show us the wizard!” screeched the hideous witch-doctress. The grinning skull and the two devil-like horns of hair which surmounted her head quivered convulsively. Her eyes started from the sockets, and the weird and barbaric amulets hung about her person rattled like castanets. She was once more the mouthing demoniac of a short half-hour ago.The writhings and hisses of the serpent had become perfectly frantic. Suddenly the reptile was seen to spring free of her grasp and to fling itself straight at the man whose face it had first struck at.“The wizard! The wizard!” roared the warriors. “Hau! It is Vudana! Vudana, the son of Sekweni, Hau!”“Vudana, the wizard! Seize him!” shrieked the sorceress. “Seize him, but slay him not. He must confess! He must confess! On your lives, slay him not!”The first part of her mandate had already been obeyed. Those in his immediate neighbourhood had flung themselves upon the doomed man and disarmed him almost before the words of denunciation had left the hag’s lips. The second part was in no danger of being disobeyed now. Better for the victim if it had.The latter was a man just past middle age, with a quiet and far from unpleasing cast of features. He was not a chief, but had a reputation for shrewdness and foresight beyond that of many an accredited leader.“Ha, Vudana! Vudana, the wizard!” cried Ngcenika mockingly. “Vudana, who did not believe in the efficacy of my magic. Vudana, who pretended to manufacture ‘charms’ as effective as mine. Vudana, whose poor attempts at magic have been effective to destroy mine in the case of all who believed in them. Call the names of those who fell,” she cried, addressing the crowd. “They are all believers in Vudana, not in me! Where are they now? Ask the Amanglezi—even the Amafengu, before

whose bullets they fell. Ask the jackal and the vulture, who have picked their bones. Ask Mfulini, the son of Mapute, whose weapon was turned by the magic of the white man! Was he a believer in Vudana’s ‘charms’?” she added in a menacing voice, rolling her eyes around.“He was not,” shouted the warrior named, springing forward. “Where is the man who bewitched my broad umkonto. Let him confess and say how he did it.”“It is well, Mfulini,” said the witch-doctress grimly, knowing that the other trembled for his personal safety now that she had dexterously turned suspicion upon him. “Thou shall be the man to make him confess.”“I have nothing to confess,” said Vudana. He lay on his bark, held powerless by several men while waiting for a reim to be brought wherewith to bind him. He knew that he was doomed—doomed not merely to death, but to one of the differing forms of frightful torment meted out to those accused of his offence. He knew moreover that whether he accused himself or not the result would be the same, and a warrior light blazed from his eyes as he replied.“If the Great Chief wants my cattle, my possessions, they are his; let him take them. If he wants my life, it too is his; let him take it. But I will not accuse myself of that which I have never committed.”If Kreli had heard this appeal he made no sign. Witchcraft was an offence—theoretically at any rate—outside the secular province. “Smelling out” was a good old custom which had its uses, and one not lightly to be interfered with. It was doubtful, however, whether he did hear, for a shout of execration, led by the witch-doctress, drowned the victim’s words.“He will not confess! Au! Where are the hot stones? To the fire! To the fire!” roared the crowd. The witch-doctress uttered a fiendish laugh.“No. To the ants!” she cried.“Ewa! Ewa! To the ants!” they echoed. “Bring him along. Hau! Theants are hungry!”A noosed reim was thrown round the doomed man’s neck, and another made fast to each of his wrists, and thus, with the whole crowd surging and yelling around him, he was dragged into the adjoining forest.“Hamba-ké, umlúngu!” (“Go on, white man”) said several of the warriors guarding Eustace, motioning him to proceed. “We are going to show you a sight. Quick, or we shall be late!”By no means free from apprehension on his own account, Eustace obeyed. When they arrived among the eager and excited crowd, the entertainment had already begun. All made way for the white prisoner and his guards, and there was a fiendish leer on many a dark face which needed not a muttered remark or two to explain. The horrible scene he was about to witness was extremely likely to be his own fate.The doomed man lay spread eagled on his back; his hands and feet, stretched to their utmost tension, were fastened to stout pegs driven into the ground. Two of the Kafirs were busily anointing his naked body with a sticky compound, which was, in fact, a mixture of honey and native beer. This they smeared over him with bits of rag: ears, eyes, nose, coming in for a plentiful share. Already his flesh seemed alive with moving objects, and then the cause became apparent. The wretched man was tied down right across a huge ant’s nest, which had been broken in order to receive his body. Already the infuriated insects were making their bites felt. He was to be devoured alive by black ants.“Confess, Vudana,” cried Ngcenika. “Confess thy witchcraft and how thy ‘charms’ were obtained. The black ants bite hard. Ha!”“Confess? Ha-ha!” jeered the sufferer, his eyes blazing. “Not to thee, vulture. Not to thee, jackal. Not to thee, spawn of a Fingo dog. Ha! That is the witch-doctress of the Amagcaleka! Such a thing as that! What magic can she make? A cheat—a liar! I can die—I can die as I have lived—a man, a warrior.”“Hau! A wizard! A traitor!” vociferated the crowd. “Confess thy


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